Friday, February 27, 2009

A Letter from a Father

My dear child,

You may well think it is natural for a parent to be concerned for a child at so great a distance away, so far out of view, and so far out of the reach of communication, where, if you should be stricken with any dangerous sickness that would result in death, you might probably be in your grave before we would hear of your danger. But yet, my greatest concern is not for your health or temporal welfare, but for the good of your soul.

Though you are at so great a distance from us, yet God is everywhere. You are much out of the reach of our care, but you are in His hands every moment! We have not the comfort of seeing you, but He sees you! His eye is always upon you. And if you may but live sensibly near to God, and have His gracious presence, it is no great matter if you are far distant from us. I had rather you should remain hundreds of miles distant from us and have God near to you than to have you always with us, and live at a distance from God.

And if the next news we would hear of you would be of your death, though that would be very sad; yet, if at the same time we had the best grounds to hope that you had died in the Lord, how much more comfortable would this be to us than if you died without the grace and favor of God!

It is comfortable to have the presence of earthly friends, especially in sickness, and on a death-bed; but the great thing is to have God as our friend, and to be united to Christ, who can never die and from whom our own death cannot separate us.

My desire and daily prayer is that you may meet with God where you are, and have much of His divine influences on your heart, wherever you may be; and that, in God's due time, you may be returned to us again, in prosperous circumstances in your soul.

I hope that you will maintain a strict and constant watch over yourself, against all temptations, that you do not forsake or forget God; and particularly, that you do not grow slack in secret piety. Retire often from this vain world, from all its bubbles and empty shadows, and vain amusements; and converse with God alone. Seek for that Divine grace and comfort, the least drop of which is worth more than all the riches, gaiety, pleasures, and entertainments of the whole world!

May you be sensible of your dependence on the care and kindness of God and of the vanity of all human helps. May you seek His face, to trust in Him, and walk closely with Him. Commending you to the care and special favor of our heavenly Father.

Your very affectionate father,
Jonathan Edwards, July 26, 1749

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Young Christians Warned

Be very careful about too frequent interaction with this temporal and wicked world. I write with a heart full of love--but I MUST caution you. There is nothing more dangerous to young Christians than indiscriminate interaction with the ungodly. In such company and friendships, it is far more likely that we would receive evil than impart good. Prudence and prayer are then especially needful, for we may more easily conform to the world than influence the world to conform to us. Happy are those who have the least to do with it, except in the way of absolute duty and necessity.

May no worldly trifles ever wean your affections from the unspeakably important subjects of eternity. Idols are bewitching, dangerous things and steal away the heart from God. The most lawful things may become idols, by fixing an unlawful degree of affection upon them. The world, even in its apparently harmless form, is a terrible snare to the young and untaught mind.

- Legh Richmond

When a good and healthy apple is close to rotten ones, do the rotten ones become good?

- Mack Tomlinson

An Eloquent Sermon

A member of a certain church, who previously had been attending services regularly, stopped going. After a few weeks, the preacher decided to visit him. It was a chilly evening. The preacher found the man at home alone, sitting before a blazing fire. Guessing the reason for his preacher's visit, the man welcomed him, led him to a comfortable chair near the fireplace and waited.

The preacher made himself at home but said nothing. In the grave silence, he contemplated the dance of the flames around the burning logs. After some minutes, the preacher took the fire tongs, carefully picked up a brightly burning ember and placed it to one side of the hearth all alone then he sat back in his chair, still silent.

The host watched all this in quiet contemplation. As the one lone ember's' flame flickered and diminished, there was a momentary glow and then its fire was no more. Soon it was cold and dead.

Not a word had been spoken since the initial greeting. The preacher glanced at his watch and realized it was time to leave. He slowly stood up, picked up the cold, dead ember and placed it back in the middle of the fire. Immediately it began to glow, once more with the light and warmth of the burning coals around it.

As the preacher reached the door to leave, his host said with a tear running down his cheek, 'Thank you so much for your visit and especially for the fiery sermon. I shall be back in church next Sunday.'

We live in a world today, which tries to say too much with too little. Consequently, few listen. Sometimes the best sermons are the ones left unspoken.

- Geoff Thomas

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Letter to a Dying Son from Legh Richmond

My ever dear son,

You are never out of my thoughts, but there is an eye which beholds and watches over you in a way that I cannot do. To Him I confide and commend you, for sickness and health, for time and eternity.

What a word, what a thought, is ETERNITY! What prospects does it set before us! What inconceivable mysteries are involved in it! How it makes the things of time dwindle into insignificance! What questions of unspeakable importance are involved in it!

Sin, a corrupt nature, a broken law, an offended God, eternal punishment, conscience, guilt, regeneration, salvation by Christ, faith, hope, love, free grace, undeserved mercy, justification, effectual calling, adoption into God's family, pardon of sin, consolation in Christ, heaven and glory! These, and a thousand accompaniments are all connected with the idea and the reality of ETERNITY!

What a sad proof of the depravity of our heart is our indifference towards thinking upon things which belong to our everlasting peace; and which, if neglected, involve our eternal ruin! We need warnings--and the Lord sends them in many ways. Sickness, pain, bereavements, losses, disappointments all bring their message with them.

The great question between our souls and God is not whether we admit the truths of the Scripture into our understandings, but whether they are so applied to our hearts, so as to have wrought a change, and become vital principles of faith and practice. Nothing short of this can afford evidence of a saved and safe condition.

Be much in prayer and self-examination. The more we see of ourselves--the more we see our sin. And the more we see our sin, the more we flee to the death and righteousness of Christ for pardon, deliverance, and hope! Let nothing interrupt you in this continual work of self-examination; and let self-examination lead you to earnest and ardent prayer. Let no pursuits of literature, no delights of sense, no passing occurrences, no debility of body, no inferior subjects of recreation, prevent you from keeping your thoughts close to God and to eternity!

You have arrived at an age when many dangerous temptations will assail you, and you will be put to the test, whether your heart is right with God. You are thrown upon the world and its seductions, and you will find indeed, that it lies in wickedness-- multiplied, subtle, and appalling wickedness! May God preserve you, my dear son, and may you never wander from the way in which you have been trained!

Keep a continual watch over your disposition, temper, and thoughts. Pride in every form must be brought low.

Do not wonder, that I cannot rest contented with superficial religion, but that I look for a deeply experimental life of God in your soul. I place time and eternity before me in holy imagination. I strive, as it were, to penetrate the veil which separates them and to look earnestly at those things which belong to your everlasting peace!

Lay all these things to heart; make them the subject of unceasing petition at that throne, whence no believing seekers are ever sent empty away.

I commend you to Him, who has all events in His hands, whose consolations are neither few nor small, who gave his Son to die for your sins, and whose compassions never fail. The precious Redeemer shall protect, guard and comfort you. But seek Him aright--do not trifle with the great concerns of your soul.

Goodbye for the present, my child, my friend and, in Christ-- my brother,

Your father

Monday, February 23, 2009

Theology and True Godliness to the Heart

"The teaching that promotes godliness." 1 Timothy 6:3

"The knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness." Titus 1:1

[An exerpt from a father's letter to his son]

My son, it is much easier to be a 'Bible scholar' than a sincere Christian. It is much easier to be a 'theologian' than a true pastor. Theology itself, important as are its themes, sinks into a mere science of literary attainments, unless accompanied by an earnest and devotional application of its principles to the soul.

You should not only study the Scriptures, but always be pondering some searching experimental book as a bosom companion. A love of such reading proves a useful test of godly character. There are many books about religious matters which, after all, do not bring home true godliness to the heart.

- Legh Richmond

Saturday, February 21, 2009

In Word Only

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. (1 Thess. 1:5) If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. (2 Cor. 5:17) You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. (Rev. 3:1)

To one who is a student merely, these verses might be interesting, but to a serious man intent upon gaining eternal life, they might well prove more than a little disturbing. For they evidently teach that the message of the gospel may be received in either of two ways: in word only without power, or in word with power. Yet it is the same message whether it comes in word or in power. And these verses teach also that when the message is received in power, it effects a change so radical as to be called a new creation. But the message may be received without power, and apparently some have so received it, for
they have a name that they are alive, but are dead. All this is present in these texts.

By observing the ways of men at play, I have been able to understand better the ways of men at prayer. Most men, indeed, play at religion as they play at games, religion itself being of all games the one most universally played. The various sports have their rules and their balls and their players; the game excites interest, gives pleasure, and consumes time, and when it is over, the competing teams
laugh and leave the field. It is common to see a player leave one team and join another and a few days later play against his old mates with as great zest as he formerly displayed when playing for them. The whole thing is arbitrary. It consists in solving artificial problems and attacking difficulties that have been deliberately created for the sake of the game. It has no moral roots and is not supposed to have. No one is the better for his self- imposed toil. It is all but a pleasant activity that changes nothing and settles nothing at last.

If the conditions we describe were confined to the ballpark, we might pass it over without further thought, but what are we to say when this same spirit enters the sanctuary and decides the attitude of men toward God and religion? For the Church has also its fields and its rules and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest at all in Christianity.

Playing With Words

As an athlete uses a ball, so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace; we build reputations upon our word skill and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game. But the emptiness of it is apparent from the fact that after the
pleasant religious game, no one is basically any different from what he had been before. The basis of life remains unchanged; the same old principles govern, the same old Adam rules.

- A. W. Tozer

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Sermon that Peter Never Forgot

"At that moment the Lord turned and looked straight at Peter." Luke 22:61

See the infinite mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. There was a deep meaning in that look. It was a sermon that Peter never forgot.

The love of Christ toward His people is a deep well which has no bottom! Let us never measure it by comparison with any kind of love of man or woman. It exceeds all other love, as far as the sun exceeds the candle light. There is about it a mine of compassion, patience, and readiness to forgive sin, of whose riches we have but a faint conception.

Let us not be afraid to trust that love when we first feel our sins. No man need despair, however far he may have fallen, if he will only repent and turn to Christ. If the heart of Jesus was so gracious when He was a prisoner in the judgment hall, we surely need not think it is less gracious when He sits in glory at the right hand of the Father!

- J. C. Ryle

Wednesday, February 18, 2009




MARCH 5 - 9, 2009
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

Dear Friends,

We wanted to take this time to invite you to our spring Bible conference here in Denton County, Texas. Our scheduled speaker is Pastor Geoffrey Thomas, pastor of the Alfred Place Baptist Church in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Pastor Thomas is one of the finest and most-gifted biblical preachers of this generation, and was good friends with Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. It is not an exaggeration to say that he is one of the most powerful and most experienced preachers in all of Great Britain. It is an immense and very edifying experience to be under the God-honoring and Christ-exalting preaching of brother Geoff.

Conference Location- First Baptist Church, 402 W. 8th St., Justin, Texas; we are thankful to be partnering with Pastor Jason Sidler and the believers at First Baptist Justin for this time.

Conference Schedule:

Thursday, Mar. 5 - 7:00 pm
Friday 6th - 7:00 pm
Saturday 7th - 6:00 pm
Sunday 8th - 10:30 am and 6:00 pm
Monday 9th - pastor's and men conference - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

We have plenty of room right now, but we need you to let us know how many you will be bringing. We have a limited number of places to house people in the homes of our members, but we’ve also made arrangements with a local hotel to give a good deal if you’d like to have your own accommodations. The conference is free, but we would like to receive an email registration to be able to plan, especially for the Monday half-day conference. If you need a home to stay in or if you are coming for the men's time on Monday, please let us know.

Child care will be provided at the church for children 6 and under; our first service will begin Thursday evening, March 5th, at 7:00 pm.

We hope you can come for the entire conference, but please come even if it’s only for part of it. We’re looking forward to a great time of reunion with old friends and Christ-exalting fellowship with new ones as we hear the Word of our Sovereign God preached by His faithful servant.

Especially if you live within driving distance of Dallas-Fort Worth, please come join us.

PLEASE forward or paste this information to anyone you would want to know about this conference.

Please email if you need additional information.

Phone – 940 482 2225 or 940 565 1022

Or Contact Mack Tomlinson at 940 435 1689 or

You may also visit our website at for more information.

Yours warmly in Christ our Lord,

Mack Tomlinson
Providence Chapel
Denton, Texas

The God who is There

"He took the blade. It was bright silver. He loved the way it glistened. It felt good in his hand. He cut deep into her chest again and again. He showed no emotion, no recognition of her humanity. She lay motionless, her life gone. He made no attempt to cover the body. Later that night over a beer he openly talked to a stranger in the bar about what he had done. The stranger felt ill."
What does the paragraph mean? If the words refer to a serial killer boasting about his latest savage triumph, the sentences are pretty ghastly, and the man in the bar should call the police. On the other hand, if the words refer to a forensic pathologist who talks about his autopsy of a particularly interesting corpse, there is no criminality (though there may be a lack of professionalism in talking like this to a stranger). How you interpret the quoted lines depends entirely on the context.

That is the problem we face today when we talk about “Jesus.” For some, “Jesus” is no more than profanity. For others, he is a moralist who makes you feel bad if you start having fun. Or he is the founder of a world religion like other founders of world religions—Muhammad, for example. Or he is “Gentle Jesus, meek and mild” who loves to turn the other cheek and who is never, ever, angry. Or he is the Jehovah's Witness Jesus, a pretty impressive second-string god, but certainly not to be identified with the one, true God. Or he is an empty cipher with virtually no content at all. All of these different hearing groups constitute contexts in which what we say about Jesus will be understood (or misunderstood).

Where a church enjoys biblically faithful ministry, Scripture itself will gradually and decisively correct these contexts that are so far out of line with what the Bible says. But suppose you are just beginning to share your faith with someone who lives in one of these hearing contexts—what then? Where do you start?

The apostle Paul faced these challenges in the first century. When he was preaching in a synagogue (for ins tance, in Pisidian Antioch, Acts 13), he was dealing with people who believed there is one God, that this God is Creator of everything in heaven and earth, that he is sovereign and holy, that the problem with human beings is their rejection of their Maker, that salvation must first and foremost reconcile us to this God, that history is teleological (that is, that it is heading to a telos, an end, a climax), that there is a final judgment to be faced, that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, that God alone prescribes how people are saved, and so forth. Paul did not have to establish any of these points: He and his hearers held them in common. In such contexts, Paul focused most of his attention on who the promised Messiah must be: He must be not only the long-awaited Davidic king, but he must suffer and die, and rise again. That was the most disputed point between unconverted synagogue attendees and Christians.

But when Paul finds himself preaching to pagans in Athens (Acts 17:16-31), not one of the propositions I’ve listed above is shared by Paul and his hearers. As a result, he takes time to establish all these points, and a few others, before introducing Jesus. Otherwise the Jesus he wants to proclaim will be misunderstood, because Jesus will be placed by Paul’s hearers in the wrong context.

Learning to evangelize men and women who know nothing about the Bible and who are bringing their own “baggage” or “context” with them does not require a super intellect or a Ph.D. in biblical theology. What it requires is learning to get across a lot of things that we Christians simply presuppose.

There are quite a lot of ways of doing this. One of them is to focus on a variety of biblical texts drawn from across the entire Bible and work through them with people. One might begin with Genesis 1-2: “The God who makes everything.” Genesis 3 becomes “The God who does not wipe out rebels.” We keep working through the Old Testament and eventually arrive at the New, coming to topics like “The God who becomes a human being” (John 1:1-18). The wonderful atonement passage in Romans 3 covers “The God who declares the guilty just.” Gradually the Bible becomes a coherent book. It establishes its own framework; it is the context in which alone Jesus, the real Jesus, makes sense.

-D. A. Carson

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rain: The Great Work of God

[Some of you have read the following by John Piper; if so, read it again-- you need to be reminded of this all over again; for those who have not read it, please do so slowly, closely, and thoughtfully. It is so wonderful what God does each time it rains. - Mack T.]

Rain: The Great Work of God

But as for me, I would seek God, And I would place my cause before God; Who does great and unsearchable things, Wonders without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends water on the fields. - Job 5:8-10

If you said to someone: "My God does great and unsearchable things; He does wonders without number," and they responded, "Really? Like what?" would you say, "Rain"?

When I read these verses recently, I felt like I did when I heard the lyrics to a Sonny and Cher song in 1969: "I'd live for you. I'd die for you. I'd even climb the mountain high for you." Even? I would die for you. I would even climb a high mountain for you? The song was good for a joke. Or a good illustration of bad poetry. Not much else.

But Job is not joking. "God does great and unsearchable things, wonders without number." He gives rain on the earth." In Job's mind, rain really is one of the great, unsearchable wonders that God does. So when I read this a few weeks ago, I resolved not to treat it as meaningless pop musical lyrics. I decided to have a conversation with myself (= meditation).

Is rain a great and unsearchable wonder wrought by God?

Picture yourself as a farmer in the Near East, far from any lake or stream. A few wells keep the family and animals supplied with water. But if the crops are to grow and the family is to be fed from month to month, water has to come on the fields from another source. From where?

Well, the sky. The sky? Water will come out of the clear blue sky? Well, not exactly. Water will have to be carried in the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, over several hundred miles and then be poured out from the sky onto the fields. Carried? How much does it weigh? Well, if one inch of rain falls on one square mile of farmland during the night, that would be 27,878,400 cubic feet of water, which is 206,300,160 gallons, which is 1,650,501,280 pounds of water. That's heavy.

So how does it get up in the sky and stay up there if it's so heavy? Well, it gets up there by evaporation. Really? That's a nice word. What's it mean? It means that the water sort of stops being water for a while so it can go up and not down. I see. Then how does it get down? Well, condensation happens. What's that? The water starts becoming water again by gathering around little dust particles between .00001 and .0001 centimeters wide. That's small.

What about the salt? Salt? Yes, the Mediterranean Sea is salt water. That would kill the crops. What about the salt? Well, the salt has to be taken out. Oh. So the sky picks up a billion pounds of water from the sea and takes out the salt and then carries it for three hundred miles and then dumps it on the farm?

Well it doesn't dump it. If it dumped a billion pounds of water on the farm, the wheat would be crushed. So the sky dribbles the billion pounds water down in little drops. And they have to be big enough to fall for one mile or so without evaporating, and small enough to keep from crushing the wheat stalks.

How do all these microscopic specks of water that weigh a billion pounds get heavy enough to fall (if that's the way to ask the question)? Well, it's called coalescence. What's that? It means the specks of water start bumping into each other and join up and get bigger. And when they are big enough, they fall. Just like that? Well, not exactly, because they would just bounce off each other instead of joining up, if there were no electric field present. What? Never mind. Take my word for it.

I think, instead, I will just take Job's word for it. I still don't see why drops ever get to the ground, because if they start falling as soon as they are heavier than air, they would be too small not to evaporate on the way down, but if they wait to come down, what holds them up till they are big enough not to evaporate? Yes, I am sure there is a name for that too. But I am satisfied now that, by any name, this is a great and unsearchable thing that God has done. I think I should be thankful - lots more thankful than I am.

Grateful to God for the wonder of rain,

- John Piper

Monday, February 16, 2009

Communion With Christ

"Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things that were heard, lest we drift away from them." (Hebrews. 2:1).

The experience of most of us shows how easily communion with Christ may be broken, and how needful are the exhortations of our Lord to those who are indeed branches of the true Vine, and cleansed by the Word which He has spoken, to abide in Him. The failure is never on His side. "Lo, I am with you always."

But, alas, the bride often forgets the exhortation addressed to her in Psalms 45: "Hearken, 0 daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; Forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the KING greatly desire thy beauty: For He is thy Lord; and worship thou Him."

In this section, the bride has drifted back from her position of blessing into a state of worldliness. Perhaps the very restfulness of her new-found joy made her feet too secure; perhaps she thought that, so far as she was concerned, there was no need for the exhortation, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Or she may have thought that the love of the world was so thoroughly taken away that she might safely go back, and, by a little compromise on her part, she might win her friends to follow her Lord too. Perhaps she scarcely thought at all, glad that she was saved and free, but she forgot that the current - the course of this world - was against her; and insensibly glided, drifted back to that position out of which she was called, unaware all the time of backsliding. It is not necessary; when the current is against us, to turn the boat's head down the stream in order to drift; or for a runner in a race to turn back in order to miss the prize.

Ah, how often the enemy succeeds, by one device or another, in tempting the believer away from that position of entire consecration to Christ in which alone the fullness of His power and of His love can be experienced.

- Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Private Prayer

"But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret." Mat. 6:6

Secret duties are the most soul-enriching duties. As secret trades brings in great earthly riches, so secret prayers makes many rich in spiritual blessings and in heavenly riches. Private prayer is that secret key of heaven which unlocks all the treasures of glory to the soul. The best riches and the sweetest mercies God usually gives to His people are when they are in their closets upon their knees.

All the graces of the saints are enlivened, and nourished, and strengthened by the sweet secret influences which their souls fall under when they are in their closet-communion with God. Certainly there are none so rich in gracious experiences as those who are most exercised in closet duties.

The tender dew which falls in the silent night makes the grass and herbs and flowers to flourish and grow more abundantly than great showers of rain which fall in the day. Just so, secret prayer will more abundantly cause the sweet flowers of grace and holiness to grow and flourish in the soul, than all those more open, public, and visible duties of religion, which too, too often, are mingled and mixed with the sun and wind of pride and hypocrisy.

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." -- Col. 4:2

- Thomas Brooks

The Pastoral and Edifying Blessing of the Psalms

Confidence or assurance most often comes in degrees, which is another way of saying that I’m not as certain about some things as I am about others. I say this only to point out that few things are more settled and assured in my soul than the immeasurable value and life-changing power of the written Word of God.

There is a measure of satisfaction that comes from reading and deciphering a John le Carre spy novel or, for some (not me), tracking with J. K. Rowling and the many exploits of Harry Potter. But the Word of God is unparalleled and unsurpassed in its capacity to enthrall, empower, and enlighten the mind concerning those truths on which I have built my life and staked my eternal destiny.

The psalmists themselves undoubtedly concur. On numerous occasions they affirm without hesitation the priceless and incomparable value of God’s inspired Word. “In the way of your testimonies,” wrote David, “I delight as much as in all riches” (Psalm 119:14). If that language isn’t sufficiently exalted, he goes on to declare that “the law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (119:72), and again, “I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold” (119:127). The written rules and precepts of the Lord are more desirable “than gold, even much fine gold” (Psalm 19:10a). Or if you prefer an even more tangible image, David insists that God’s words are “sweeter . . . than honey and drippings of the honeycomb” (19:10b).

This is perhaps the principal reason why, if you were to ask a typical group of Christians what their favorite book of the Bible is, I suspect more than half would say it is the Psalms. While happily confessing that all Scripture is inspired of God and profitable for our lives, there’s something special about the Psalter that makes it the fi rst among equals in the biblical canon.

Perhaps it’s the fact that no one struggles to find the Psalms relevant. There is something here for everyone in whatever walk of life, however old or young one may be, regardless of circumstance, whether in triumph or trial, joy or sadness. Rarely will you hear someone say, after reading the Psalter: “I just can’t identify with this. It doesn’t speak to me where I am in life right now.”

Among countless other characteristics of the Psalter, many would point to the fact that whereas most of Scripture speaks to us, the Psalms also speak for us. In the Psalms we find inspired examples of what we can and should and must say to God. They are a perpetual reminder that God welcomes our deepest desires, our most unnerving of fears, our anxiety and adoration, our celebration and our confusion.

Some point to the passion of the psalmists, or their praise, or their brutal and sometimes painful honesty as they wrestle through the confusion and loss and disappointment that life so often casts our way. As Don Williams put it, “the full range of human emotions is displayed in these living prayers, without the hypocrisy and pretense so often characteristic of the modern church.”

The Psalter is also undeniably God-centered. When I asked my wife, Ann, what impressed her most about the Psalms, and how she might put this in one simple statement, she replied: “Woe is me! Wow is Thee!” I couldn’t agree more. Human beings in all their weakness, misery and sin are here confronted with the wonder and mercy and splendor of God.

Concerning the Psalms, I encourage you to first read the biblical text itself, slowly meditate upon it, and perhaps even memorize portions of it. I trust that in doing so you, too, will find God’s words to be more precious than gold and sweeter than honey.

- Sam Storms

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Faith Doesn't Hesitate

"A woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all she had and was not helped at all, but rather grew worse--after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." -- Mark 5:25-28

Here is a woman who took a rumor, made an assumption, calculated a conclusion, and received a blessing -- something Christ called faith. Notice what this faith had to overcome: First, she possessed no health -- a worsened condition that surely would have affected her strength to press through the crowd. Second, she had no income. This isn't someone who has an HMO having a hard time paying their deductible. She was destitute. Third, she had no society. Being in a hemorrhaged condition she was a defilement to anyone she touched in the crowd (Lev. 15:19). Her prospects for marriage or having children were nil. Fourth, she had no worship. Being unclean she could never travel with her family to worship in Jerusalem -- continuo usly barred from God’s activities. Fifth, she had no promise. Christ didn't say to the crowd, "Come unto me all you who hemorrhage." There was no guarantee that Christ would grant her what she sought. Sixth, she had little or no courage, as she secretly sought to only touch the hem of His garment. For her to stand up and say, "Have mercy on me, Jesus, for I bleed" would have exposed her illness to a potentially angry, ceremonially defiled crowd. And lastly, she had no time, as Jesus had already set out to heal Jairus' daughter (Mk. 5:21).

But reach she did -- even with Jesus' back turned and His attention away. She never thought that her touch would defile Him, nor if His cloak possessed some magical powers -- both religious detriments to true faith. Christ was her only hope -- a hope that became an affirmation through her verbal confession.

Now contrast what this woman did with what Uzzah did when he reached out and steadied the ark (2 Sam. 6:6-7). Both touched the tabernacle of God (Jn. 1:14) -- and both underscore the great difference between the Old Covenant and the New. One died on the spo t, the other received life. The Old says stay away; the New says, come, and I'll give you rest. The Old says, do this and live; the New says, live, now do this.

Oh, saint, why do you draw back in your weakness? You have precious and magnificent promises, you have invitation, you have access -- and now you have no excuse. So reach! You’ll find more than a handful of hem when you do.

- Mark Lacour

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Election according to Grace

"Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: not by works, but by Him who calls--she was told, 'The older will serve the younger.' Just as it is written: 'Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.'" Romans 9:10-13

Jacob supplies us with the clearest and most unmistakable illustration of God's sovereign election to be met with in all the Bible. The case of Jacob gives the most emphatic refutation to the theory that God's choice is dependent upon something in the creature, something either actual or foreseen, and shows that the eternal election of certain individuals unto salvation is due to no worthiness in the subjects, but results solely from God's sovereign grace. The case of Jacob proves conclusively that God's choice is entirely sovereign, wholly gratuitous, and based upon nothing but His own good pleasure.

The God of Scripture then, is the God who chooses one and passes by another. He is the One who exercises and exhibits His own sovereign will. He is one who shows Himself to be the Most High God, ruling in heaven and earth and disposing of His creatures according to His own eternal purpose. He is the One who singles out the most unlikely and unworthy objects to be fashioned into vessels of glory. Yet, He is the One who necessarily always acts in harmony with His own divine perfections.

Election is not, as some have supposed, harsh and unjust, but is a most merciful provision on the part of God. Had He not from the beginning, chosen some to salvation, ALL would have perished! Had he not before the foundation of the world chosen certain ones to be conformed to the image of His Son--the death of Christ would have been in vain, so far as the human race is concerned!

Reduced to its simplest terms, election means that God chose me before I chose Him. Our Lord said, "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you." (John 15:16) We love Him because He first loved us. Election means that before I was born, yes, before the foundation of the world, I was chosen in Christ and predestined unto a place in God's family! Election means that we believed because He made us willing in the day of His power. Election then, strips the creature of all merit, removes all ground of boasting, strikes us helpless in the dust, and ascribes all the glory to God!

- A. W. Pink

Monday, February 9, 2009

Jonathan & Sarah Edwards: The Uncertainty of Life and the Frailty of Man

In one sense, the modern philosophy which was voiced in a famous movie in the last ten years is partially true: "Life is like a box of chocolates--you never know what you're gonna get."

It was certainly true in the family of Jonathan and Sarah Edwards. Theirs was and is a testimony to the uncertainty of life and the frailty of all men.

It is peoples' lives that become their legacy--not as much what they said or produced, as much as what they were and what they had to go through in life and death, which God's grace turns into a legacy long after they are gone. The Edwards would never know in this life what legacy they would leave to millions of future believers. But what they did come to know by experience during the last year of their life was primarily one thing--life is uncertain, man is frail, and the grace of God is sufficient.

It was on March 22, 1758 that Jonathan Edwards died of complications from a smallpox vaccination at the age of 56. Just two months prior, on February 16, he had been officially installed as the president of the College of New Jersey in Princeton, which would later become Princeton University. He was entering what would have become the third major division in his life of ministry--teaching and training men for the gospel ministry. This was after his 23 year pastorate in Northamption, Mass., and his period of serving as the missionary pastor to the Indians at Stockbridge.

Surely it seemed like a bright future was before them, with promising days, especially with the hardships, isolation, and discouragements of Northampton and Stockbridge behind them. With Edwards being only 56 years old, providence seemed to be directing him into what would be the most fruitful period of his influence for the kingdom of God. At Princeton, he would have much more time for writing, as well as teaching ministers. Indeed, the future seemed bright and hopefully, a long life lay before them.

Instead, dark clouds began to gather over the Edwards' family, clouds which continued for a full year. In January of the year, Jonathan's father, Timothy, had died at the age of 89. It was the next month, a week after becoming Princeton's president, that Edwards took the vaccination for smallpox. At first all seemed fine, but within days, he had the disease and soon it was killing him. The disease settled in his mouth and throat, and before long, he could not swallow. After several weeks of fever and starvation, he died in Christ on the afternoon of March 22, just five weeks after coming to Princeton.

It was twelve days later that Sarah wrote to their daughter, Esther: "O, what a legacy my husband and your father has left us!" Sarah wrote this letter, not from Princeton, but from Stockbridge, as she had remained behind to move the family to join him, since Edwards was already at the college.

But Esther never got to read what her mother had written, as Esther died from a fever in April before ever receiving the letter, leaving two young children as orphans because their father, Edwards' son-in-law, Aaron Burr, had died the previous September at the age of 41.

Suddenly, with the freshest and deepest sorrow, having lost both her husband and her daughter in the space of three weeks, Sarah suddenly faced the responsibility of going to Philadelphia to take responsibility of the 2 grandchildren. One of those grandchildren, Aaron Burr, Jr., would become the Vice-President of the United States.

But she never made it to Philadelphia. Sarah contracted dysentery and died on October 2 while on the trip. She was 48 years old. She was buried next to her husband in the small cemetery at Princeton.

So the Edwards' family lost 5 family members within thirteen months' time. One short year earlier, they were all healthy, happy, going about life, business, school, and ministry, yet knowing that such things could happen anytime. They knew it because Edwards had preached faithfully over a 35 year period that life is very uncertain and that all men are very frail. Now that message rang loud and true throughout their experience to their own generation and to future generations as well. And it still rings true today.

It is an absolute that life is very uncertain. It is an absolute that man, at his best state, is altogether vanity, and is fragile and frail. So a large part of the Edwards' lasting legacy and testimony is just that--life is uncertain and man is frail. And that is what Edwards had been preaching for so long.

If it was true for the Edwards, is it not true for us? The Edwards left a legacy because they lived in such a way that when their lives were cut off in the midst of their years, they had a legacy to leave behind. Do we? I wonder; I hope so; I desire to.

I do feel at times, very deeply, the reality of life's uncertainties and my own frailty. And when I do, it casts me upon the sheer grace and mercy of a loving and sovereign Saviour, who takes His children in death when we would not do it that way, when we would judge it premature or somehow wrong.

I don't know why a Jim Elliot dies so young when he's so promising, a David Brainerd dies at 28, a Heny Martyn at 28, a Keith Green at 28, an Edwards, a Spurgeon, a Whitefield all at 56--I don't know why, except that it please a good and wise God to purpose it; but I don't have to know why; God hasn't told me, nor has he asked my permission, nor has he ever explained himself about such uncertainties, which are not uncertainties to him.

But one thing I do know with certainty is this--I don't want to waste any of my remaining years, or months, or days; Our times are in His hands. And I am very glad for that fact.

"Lord, teach me to number my days, that I may apply my heart to wisdom."

- Mack T.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

God at Work in Alaska

This is a wonderful opportunity our dear friend and missionary in Alaska, Justin Vold, has this coming week, which he called me about this weekend.

Tomorrow, on Monday, he flies to a village mentioned below to share with ALL the young people of the village--the entire village are having their young people come to hear Justin share about Christ; after that, the young people from other villages are coming there as well for a basketball tournament on Sat. He has been asked to share with all the young people at the tournament as well. Below is his report of this.

Please pray for Justin this week regarding this God-sent opportunity. Just imagine if the city leaders of your town asked a true preacher of the gospel to come and speak to a gathering of all the young people in town? What an opportunity! Justin will be there all week, speaking and sharing Christ. He needs our prayers this week.

"I will be leaving Monday the 9th for the village of Kwigillingok. I have been invited by the Elders there to meet with their teens for 7 days to give them the Gospel. They have deep concerns for these youth as teen suicide, drugs, alcohol and increasing wickedness in the occult are on an alarming rise.

I feel for these Elders as I met with them in Bethel last week and my heart goes out to them. We are believing the Lord to meet with these young people as I share His Word with them. I will also have the opportunity to share the Gospel with several youth from other surrounding villages after a basketball tournament in Kwigillingok on Saturday the 14th."

- Justin Vold

Saturday, February 7, 2009

On Reading the Old Testament

I, for one, have struggled in reading the Old Testament, so as to understand how to benefit from some sections, particularly the narrative sections, where the stories and experience of the Old Testament people are recorded. I have found myself often asking, "What is the real meaning of this passage? What is it teaching? What was the purpose of the author in recording it? How do we know how to take this and understand it?"

Gordon Fee gives some simple yet very helpful guidelines in reading the Old Testament narratives which I find especially beneficial. I am thankful to a certain friend who passed these on to me.

1. An OT narrative usually does not directly teach a doctrine.

2. An OT narrative usually illustrates a doctrine or doctrines taught propositionally elsewhere.

3. Narratives record what happened, not necessarily what should have happened or what ought to happen every time. Therefore, not every narrative has an individual identifiable moral to the story.

4. What people do in narratives is not necessarily a good example for us. Frequently, it is just the opposite.

5. Most of the characters in OT narratives are far from perfect.

6. We are not always told at the end of a narrative whether what happened was good or bad.

7. All narratives are incomplete. Not all the relevant details are always given (cf John 21:25).

8. Narratives are not written to answer our theological questions.

9. Narratives may teach either explicitly (by clearly stating something) or implicitly ( by clearly

implying something, without actually saying it).

10. In the final analysis, God is the hero of all biblical narratives.

So, I agree with the anonymous poet who has said,

"I agree with Fee,
His advice is free,

Yet is profitable for me
And can be for thee."


- Gordon Fee

The Evil Effects of Sin

Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages! See the evil effects of sin!

Sin has corrupted us. As poison corrupts the blood, so sin corrupts the soul.

Sin has degraded us of our honor. God made us in His own image, but sin has made us like devils!
"You are of your father the Devil and you want to carry out your father's desires!" John 8:44.

Sin disquiets the peace of the soul. "There is no peace, for the wicked." Isaiah 57:21. Whatever defiles--disturbs. Sin creates fears and there is "torment in fear." Sin makes sad convulsions in the conscience.

Judas was so terrified with guilt and horror that he hanged himself, to quiet his conscience. In order to ease his conscience, he threw himself into hell!

Sin produces all temporal evil. Sin is the Trojan Horse, which has sword, and famine and pestilence,
in its belly. Sin is a coal, which not only blackens, but burns. Sin creates all our troubles; it puts gravel
into our bread, and wormwood in our cup. Sin rots the name, consumes the estate, buries loved ones.

Sin, unrepented of, brings final damnation. The canker which breeds in the rose is the cause of its perishing. Just so, the corruptions which breed in men's souls are the cause of their damning. Sin's pleasure will turn to sorrow at last. Like the book the prophet ate, sin is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Sin brings the wrath of God!

- Thomas Watson

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Evil Effects of Sin

Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death for its wages! See the evil effects of sin!

Sin has corrupted us. As poison corrupts the blood, so sin corrupts the soul.

Sin has degraded us of our honor. God made us in His own image, but sin has made us like devils!
"You are of your father the Devil and you want to carry out your father's desires!" John 8:44.

Sin disquiets the peace of the soul. "There is no peace, for the wicked." Isaiah 57:21. Whatever defiles--disturbs. Sin creates fears and there is "torment in fear." Sin makes sad convulsions in the conscience.

Judas was so terrified with guilt and horror that he hanged himself, to quiet his conscience. In order to ease his conscience, he threw himself into hell!

Sin produces all temporal evil. Sin is the Trojan Horse, which has sword, and famine and pestilence,
in its belly. Sin is a coal, which not only blackens, but burns. Sin creates all our troubles; it puts gravel
into our bread, and wormwood in our cup. Sin rots the name, consumes the estate, buries loved ones.

Sin, unrepented of, brings final damnation. The canker which breeds in the rose is the cause of its perishing. Just so, the corruptions which breed in men's souls are the cause of their damning. Sin's pleasure will turn to sorrow at last. Like the book the prophet ate, sin is sweet in the mouth, but bitter in the belly. Sin brings the wrath of God!

- Thomas Watson

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Promised Rest

"Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden--and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

"I will give you rest." What a claim to make! To impart rest of soul to another lies beyond the power of the most exalted creature. Neither Confucius, Buddha, nor Mohammed ever made such a claim as this!

As Christ is the only One who can bestow rest of soul, so there is no true rest to be found apart from Him. The creature cannot impart it. The world cannot communicate it. We ourselves cannot, by any efforts of our own, manufacture it. One of the most pathetic sights in the world is to behold the unregenerate, vainly seeking happiness and contentment in the things of time and sense and finding that these are all broken cisterns which can hold no water. They are like the poor woman mentioned in Mark 5:26, who "had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better--she grew worse!"

What is the nature of this "rest" which Christ gives to all who truly come to Him? It is a spiritual rest, a satisfying rest, "rest for the soul" as the Savior declares later in this passage. It is such a rest as this world can neither give nor take away.

It is a rest from that vain and wearisome quest, which engages and absorbs the sinner, before the Spirit of God opens his eyes to see his folly and moves him to seek after the true riches. It is indeed pitiful to behold those who are made for eternity wasting their time and energies wandering from object to object, searching for that which cannot satisfy them, only to be vexed by repeated and incessant disappointments. And thus it is with all until they come to Christ, for He has written over all the pursuits and pleasures of this world, "Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again!" (John 4:13)

Forcibly was that fact exemplified by the case of Solomon, who was provided with everything which the carnal heart could desire, and who gratified his lusts to the full, only to find that, "Behold, all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind!" (Eccl. 1:14). It is from this vexation of spirit, that Christ delivers His people, for He declares "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him--shall never thirst!" (John 4:14)

- A. W. Pink

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Life of George Whitefield

Book Review by Mack Tomlinson

(2 vols, 1172p, cloth bound)
E. A. Johnston
Foreword by J. I. Packer
Preface by Richard Owen Roberts

Dr. Daniel L. Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N. C., has said regarding this new definitive biography on the life of George Whitefield: “The time is right for a new biography of George Whitefield, the powerful evangelist of the First Great Awakening. That book has arrived.”

But some scholars and students of the life of Whitefield, the 18th century evangelist, might be tempted to disagree with Akin’s assessment of the need of another biogra phy. After all, there have been a number of high quality biographies already available and in print. One could mention the massive 2 volume biographies by both Luke Tyerman and Arnold Dallimore, as well as the single volumes by John Gilles, and the recent Banner of Truth reprint of the Life & Times of George Whitefield by Robert Philip, first published in 1837. Then there is the wonderful journal of Whitefield, also published by Banner of Truth.

Still, when one gives even a quick perusal of Johnston’s new two volume biography, he quickly feels gratitude that Dr. Johnston has made a valuable contribution to the existing works already written on Whitefield. As Joel Beeke of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary has said, “In this massive biography . . . we find immense stimulation to rekindle the psalmist’s prayer, ‘It is time, Lord, for thee to work.” And David Dockery, president of Union University, describes these two volumes as illuminating and informative . . . an inspiring portrait of the great 18th century evangelist."

Even If a person has read every biography in print on Whitefield, they will be glad that they took the effort in reading this one for several reasons. First, it is filled with historic and contemporary quotes and antidotes in a very balanced way; second, this biography is written in a way that is full of life and reality, for both the mind and the heart. It is full of life, warm, accurate, and scholarly. Finally, Johnston clearly reveals Whitefield’s faults and does not fall into the trap of giving the reader an unrealistic and purely romantic biography.

It is interesting to note that Dr. Johnston begins volume one with a chapter on Whitefield’s death, probably to show how Whitefield lived his life on the last day he was alive on the earth. As the author states in chapter one, “This aspect and momentous event [his final day and his death] has been paid too little attention by previous biographers, for it marks the end of a preaching ministry that shook several continents and stirred a sleeping church.”

The author provides 27 chapters in volume one, and moves on after the first chapter to deal with numerous areas of the life and ministry of Whitefield, including his birth, his days at Oxford, his ordination and early ministry, his sea journeys and initial itinerant ministry to the state of Georgia in the U. S., the opened and closed doors Whitefield encountered, Whitefield again in America from 1739-1741, the Great Awakening in the N ew England colonies, his triumphs and trials, his relationship with Jonathan Edwa rds, doctrinal divisions, his theology, and his return back to Britain, particularly in Scotland.

Volume two then proceeds through 33 chapters to take up a look at Whitefield’s marriage, the revival at Cambuslang in Scotland, his labors in the midst of various trials, the mob riots and persecutions, his third through seventh visits to America, his very real and ongoing health issues, the death of his wife, his last period of ministry in Great Britain, and then his funeral. The six appendices that conclude the work include Jonathan Edwards’ letter to Whitefield, publications of works by, for, and against Whitefield, noteworthy information on the evangelist, J. I. Packer on Whitefield, a centennial commemoration, and thoughts on the whereabouts of material on Whitefield, plus an extensive primary and secondary bibliography.

One could argue that Johnston depends too much on the numerous quotes he gives from 18th century sources, as well as previous biographers. In my opinion, this is far from the case. Yes, there are numerous quotations cited throughout both volumes, but it only adds to the content and quality of the record Dr. Johnston provides.

This biography is full of life, reality, scholarship, and documentation. It is indeed well worth the time it takes to read, whether for one well acquainted with Whitefield or for the person who has never read a biography on him.

Perhaps the most popular biography on Whitefield currently is the 2 volumes by Arnold Dallimore. But with the publication of Dr. Johnston’s new work, the perspective of Dr. Ted Rendall seems accurate: “Others have written biographies of the herald of the 18th century revival, but Johnston has done his homework and presents new information and insights about Whitefield not included even in Dallimore’s work." Evangelist Al Whittinghill expresses my sentiments very well about this new biography when he says, “In a wonderful blending of scholarship, passion and careful research, Dr. Johnston sets forth nugget after nugget of insight and information in this remarkable exposition of the man and the preacher, George Whitefield."

We heartily commend the close and prayerful reading of this monumental work and are thankful for its coming forth to Christ’s church at such a time as this when nations more than ever need true preachers of the everlasting gospel.

- Mack Tomlinson

About the author
E. A. Johnston, Ph.D, D.B.S., is a fellow of the Stephen Olford Institute for Bi blical Preaching and the author of several books , including A Heart Awake: The Authorized Biography of J. S idlow Baxter (Baker, 2005).

Available through bookshops, or from:
Reformation Heritage Books,,
or direct from Tentmaker Publications

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sermons without Words

When you are tempted to complain and have self-pity at the narrowness of your circumstances and the limitations of your sphere, remember that for thirty years, Jesus found room in a humble peasant home for worthy living and for service, not unfitted to His exalted character.

If you can do nothing but live a true Christian life--patient, gentle, kindly, pure--in your home, in society, and at your daily duty, then you will perform a service of great value and leave many blessings in the world. Such a life is a little gospel, telling in sermons without words, the wonderful story of the cross of Christ.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

- J. R. Miller

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Happy Man

The happy man was born in the city of Regeneration, in the village of Repentance unto Life. He has a large estate in the county of Christian Contentment.

He was educated at the School of Obedience and often does jobs of Self-denial.

He wears the garment of Humility, and has a suit always on when he goes to Court, called the Robe of Christ's Righteousness.

He has to travel through the world on his way to heaven, but he walks through it as fast
as he can. All his business along the way is to make himself and others happy. He often walks
in the valley of Self-Abasement, and sometimes climbs the mountains of Heavenly-Mindedness.

He breakfasts every morning on heavenly food, and sups every evening on the same. He has food
to eat, which the world knows nothing of, and his drink is the sincere milk of the Word of God.

Thus happy he lives--and happy he dies.

Happy is he who has gospel submission in his will, the love of God in his affections, true peace in his conscience, sincere divinity in his breast, the Redeemer's yoke on his neck, the vain world under his feet, and a crown of glory over his head!

Happy is the life of that man who believes firmly, prays fervently, walks patiently, labors abundantly,
lives holy, dies daily, watches his heart, guards his senses, redeems his time, loves Christ, and longs for glory!

"Happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

- Lachlan MacKenzie

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Meditation on the Power of God's Acts

It was a small, simple rain fall--no down pour, no deluge--just a simple rain this past Monday and Tuesday in Paducah, Kentucky. I wasn't there, but was given two first-hand accounts from close friends of mine who live there. A small gentle rain that brought the town and the entire area, including across the state line north in Illinois, to a complete standstill. Thousands lost electrical power and many still do not have it. Because of a simple rain--combined with one other factor--the temperature.

When God combines those two simple, yet very big factors, His amazing power is quickly seen in nature. Seen in such a way that it brings the earth, its inhabitants, and all activities to a stand still. Men quickly see that they are limited, frail, completely dependent, and very vulnerable.

This is what happened in Paducah and the surrounding area, as virtually every tree in the area was damaged; some areas there look like a war zone. Approximately 1-2 inches of ice covered everything, followed by 2-3 inches of snow. The weight of the ice was such that, at least in one instance, a telephone pole snapped and fell, pulling down the lines, simply because of the sheer weight of the ice.

Ice falling from the sky snaps a telephone pole. Only God can do that.

Single blades of grass were surrounded by 2 inches of ice encircling them. Only God can do that.

But do we notice God in it? Does it cause our hearts to immediately gravitate to Him? Do we see it as the amazing and immediate power of God or only as nature, or worst, as mother nature?

The power of God coming through a gentle rain and some freezing temps. It is often the case that we see the glory and the power of God, not just in the huge events of nature, such as hurricane Katrina, a tornado, or a powerful lightning storm. The "smaller" acts of God in nature are just as powerful and amazing-- an ice storm that comes with a whisper, that comes calling softly, all the time saying, "Look and behold the power of God." Let him who has eyes to see, see the power of God in the soft coming of ice that brings man's ways to a stop and brings God's power to the fore front. Jesus commands the rain to come and then He turns His thermostat down, and look what happens.

Tonight, I looked up at a half moon, blazing in the north Texas sky, shining in its glory; Jesus is upholding that moon tonight by the very word of His power; does it amaze me still? When I see it, do I stop and talk to the One who is holding it up at that moment? His name is Jesus and He is my Saviour, the One who loves me and keeps me by the same mighty power--its He who is daily revealing His power in all kinds of ways, and it is there for us to see and stand amazed.

We can behold the power of God daily--if we will; if we will open our eyes and see God in it all. What have you seen this past week, even today, that put you in awe and made you say, "Behold, the power of God!"

- Mack T.